The Knights have got a long season ahead of them if they don’t start to turn things around soon. They will attempt to save their season this weekend against one of the toughest teams so far this year, the Melbourne Storm.
LAST TIME OUT
Storm lost on Monday night night to the Sharks but they have been far from lackluster in 2016. Their record stands at 3-1 and they only narrowly lost to the Sharks. Cameron Smith has been the ultimate puppet master as usual, Cameron Munster has been impressive at fullback since Slater’s injury and Will Chambers has been one of the best centres in the competition. The biggest issue they currently have Is their backline where they now have two gaps due to injuries to Slater and Scott, and Koroibete’s one week suspension. They already had depth issues at those positions which have now been exacerbated.
The Knights have been the worst team over 4 rounds and the only reason they aren’t coming last on the ladder was a draw against the Raiders. They have an average of 35.5 points scored against them per game. They have struggled to put together a decent performance for 80 minutes yet. There are some promising players in the squad such as Gagai, Sione Mata’utia and Jarrod Mullen but they don’t have solid options at fullback or hooker and their ‘star’ recruit, Hodkinson, Is one of the most overrated players in the league and is past his used by date.
Sione Mata’utia vs. Will Chambers
Will Chambers has been one of the strongest performers in the NRL so far this year and could already lock his origin jersey up. Matu’utia has only played one game for the Knights this year but he was one of their best players in their draw against the Raiders. He should return from suspension eager for a win. Both players will be busy with the other wingers and centres on their respective teams all being inexperienced.
The NRL is a capricious monster but I don’t see the knights overcoming their issues against a team like Storm. They have the same level of experience in their backline and are seriously overwhelmed at every position other than 5/8.
Storm win by 30.
Storm: 1 Cameron Munster 2 Young Tonumaipea 3 William Chambers 4 Ben Hampton 5 Marika Koroibete 6 Blake Green 7 Cooper Cronk 8 Jesse Bromwich 9 Cameron Smith 10 Jordan McLean 11 Kevin Proctor 12 Tohu Harris 13 Dale Finucane Interchange: 14 Kenneth Bromwich 15 Tim Glasby 16 Felise Kaufusi 17 Christian Welch
Knights: 1 Dane Gagai, 2 Nathan Ross, 3 Sione Mata’utia, 4 Pat Mata’utia, 5 Cory Denniss, 6 Jarrod Mullen, 7 Trent Hodkinson, 8 Sam Mataora, 9 Tyler Randell, 10 Korbin Sims, 11 Jacob Saifiti, 12 Robert Rochow, 13 Jeremy Smith. Interchange: 14 Danny Levi, 15 Mickey Paea, 16 Lachlan Fitzgibbon, 17 Pauli Pauli